Congrats! You’ve just become the proud owner of hearing aids – an incredible piece of modern technology. But, just like with any new device, there are things that hearing aid owners wish someone had informed them about.
Let’s assess how a new hearing aid user can avoid the 9 most common hearing aid errors.
1. Neglecting to understand hearing aid functionality
To put it bluntly, learn your hearing aid’s features. It probably has exclusive features that considerably improve the hearing experience in different environments such as restaurants, theaters, or walking down the street.
It may be able to sync wirelessly to your smartphone, TV, or stereo. In addition, it might have a specific setting that helps you hear on the phone.
If you use this sophisticated technology in such a basic way, without understanding these features, you can easily get stuck in a rut. Modern hearing aids do more than simply increase the volume of outside sounds.
To get the clearest and best sound, take some time to practice using the hearing aid in different places. Ask a friend or family member to help you so you can test how well you can hear.
Like anything new, it will get easier after a little practice. And your hearing experience will be 10X better than when you just turn the volume up and down.
2. Expecting instant improvement in your hearing
In line with number one, many new hearing aid users think their hearing will be optimal as they walk out of the office. This assumption is usually not how it works. Some people say it takes a month or more before they are completely comfortable with their hearing aid. But stay positive. They also say it’s really worth it.
After getting home, give yourself a couple of days to get used to the new experience. It won’t be that much different than breaking in new shoes. Usually, you will need to go slow and wear your new hearing aids a little at a time.
Start in a calm setting with a friend where you’re just talking. Simple voices may not sound the same at first, and this can be disorienting. Ask your friends if you’re speaking too loud and make the required adjustments.
Slowly increase the time you use your hearing aids and gradually add new places to visit.
Be patient with yourself, and you’ll have lots of wonderful hearing experiences to look forward to.
3. Being untruthful about your degree of hearing loss at your hearing assessment
In order to be sure you get the correct hearing aid technology, it’s important to answer any questions we may ask honestly.
Go back and get another test if you realize you may not have been entirely honest after you get your hearing aids. But it’s easier if you get it right the first time. The hearing aid type and style that will be best for you will be determined by the level and kind of hearing loss you have.
As an example, individuals with hearing loss in the high frequency range will require a particular type of hearing aid. People who have mid-range hearing loss will call for different technology and etc.
4. Failing to have your hearing aid fitted
Your hearing aids need to handle a few requirements at once: they need to be comfortable on or in your ears, they need to be easy to put in and remove, and they need to boost the sounds around you effectively. All three of those variables will be resolved during your fitting.
When you’re getting fitted, you may:
- Have your hearing tested to determine the power level of your hearing aid.
- Have molds of your ears made and measurements taken.
5. Not tracking your results
After you’ve been fitted, it’s important to take notes on how your hearing aid feels and performs. Make a note if you are having trouble hearing in a big room. Make a note if one ear feels tighter than the other. If everything feels right, make a note. This can help us make personalized, tiny changes to help your hearing aids achieve optimum comfort and efficiency.
6. Not thinking about how you will use your hearing aid ahead of time
Some hearing aids are resistant to water. Others, however, can be damaged or even destroyed by water. Maybe you enjoy certain activities and you are willing to pay extra for more advanced features.
We can give you some suggestions but you must decide for yourself. Only you know which advanced features you’ll actually use and that’s worth investing in because if the hearing aids don’t work with your lifestyle you won’t use them.
You and your hearing aid will be together for several years. So you don’t want to be disappointed by settling when you really would have benefited from a certain function.
Some other things to take into consideration
- Speak with us about these things before your fitting so you can be certain you’re completely satisfied.
- You might prefer something that is extremely automated. Or maybe you’re more of a do-it-yourself type of person. How much battery life will you need?
- How obvious your hearing aid is may be something you’re worried about. Or, you may want to make a bold statement.
Many issues that arise regarding fit, lifestyle, and how you use your hearing aids can be addressed through the fitting process. Also, you might be able to demo out your hearing aids before you commit to a purchase. This demo period will help you determine which brand will be best for your needs.
7. Not appropriately caring for your hearing aids
The majority of hearing aids are really sensitive to moisture. If you live in a humid place, acquiring a dehumidifier might be worth the investment. It’s a bad idea to keep your hearing aid in the bathroom where everyone showers.
Before you touch your hearing aid or its battery, be sure to clean your hands. The performance of your hearing aid and the duration of its battery can be effected by the oils normally found in your skin.
Don’t let earwax or skin cells accumulate on the hearing aid. Instead, the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures should be implemented.
The life and function of your hearing aid will be increased by taking these simple steps.
8. Failing to keep a spare set of batteries
New hearing aid wearers often learn this lesson at the worst times. When you’re about to find out who did it at the crucial moment of your favorite show, your batteries quit without warning.
Your battery life depends, like any electronic device, on the outside environment and how you use it. So always keep a spare set of batteries nearby, even if you recently changed them. Don’t let an unpredictable battery cause you to miss out on something significant.
9. Not practicing your hearing exercises
When you first purchase your hearing aids, there may be an assumption, and it’s not necessarily a baseless assumption, that your hearing aid will do all the work. But the regions of your brain responsible for interpreting sound are also impacted by hearing loss not just your ears.
Once you get your hearing aids, you’ll be able to begin the work of restoring some of those ear-to-brain pathways and links. This might occur quite naturally for some individuals, particularly if the hearing loss was somewhat recent. But other people will need a more structured strategy to rebuild their ability to hear. A couple of typical strategies include the following.
Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the easiest ways to restore those connections between your ears and your brain. It may feel a little foolish at first, but don’t allow that to stop you. You’re doing the important work of linking the words (which you read) to the sound (which you say). Your hearing will get better and better as you continue practicing.
You can always use audiobooks if reading out loud isn’t appealing to you. You can get a physical copy of the book and an audio copy. Then as the audiobook plays, you can read along. You’ll hear a word while you’re reading it just like reading out loud. This will train the language parts of your brain to understand speech again.